NBA Game Summary - Miami at Dallas
(Friday, January 4th)
Final Score: Dallas 94, Miami 89
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and the Dallas Mavericks came back to edge the depleted Miami Heat, 94-89.
The struggling Heat, who dropped their sixth straight, played without guard Dwyane Wade (sore right pinkie, bruised right shoulder) center Shaquille O'Neal (sore left hip), guard Jason Williams (left knee inflammation), and forward Dorell Wright (sprained left ankle).
Josh Howard scored 18 points and raked in seven rebounds, and Eddie Jones scored 17 points for the Mavericks, who have won three in a row and eight of 10. Devin Harris had 15 points, nine assists, and four steals -- including one in the final seconds that sealed the win.
Ricky Davis had 17 points, seven assists, and six rebounds to lead five Heat players in double figures. Mark Blount also scored 17, and Udonis Haslem had 16 points and nine rebounds for Miami.
"We had to really keep fighting tonight," said Howard. "They (Miami) seemed to have a lot of points in the paint in the first three quarters, and we were able to even that out in the fourth quarter and go on to win the game."
With the game tied 82-82, Nowitzki drilled a three-pointer to put the Mavs on top with 5:28 remaining, but Haslem answered with a jumper to cut the deficit to one. A Howard jumper followed by a Nowitzki fadeaway put the Mavs up 89-84 with 1:15 left in regulation.
Davis was fouled taking a three ten seconds later, but made only one-of-three free throws. Howard made one-of-two two seconds later, pushing the Mavs up 90-85.
Haslem sank two free throws with 53.6 ticks left, though, and a Nowitzki miss allowed Davis to cut the deficit to 90-89 on his layup with 14.5 seconds left. Howard turned over the ensuing inbounds, and the Heat had the ball with 13.1 ticks left and a chance at the win.
Davis drove the lane and was slapped in the head by Howard as he tried a layup. Davis airballed the shot, but no foul was called. Howard drained two free throws with 6.7 seconds left, but the Heat still had one more chance, trailing 92-89.
Luke Jackson's inbounds pass was picked off by Harris, though, and he threw the outlet pass to Howard for the game-sealing dunk.
"It's just the same old for us, whether with our starters or with this group. We got a great game out of these guys tonight," said Heat head coach Pat Riley. "I really felt we played hard enough to win, probably even deserved to win, but making some mistakes, missing some free throws, point-blank lay up at the end maybe. It just didn't go our way. The bottom line is that you've got to close it."
The Heat led 56-48 at the half, and 74-71 entering the final 12 minutes.
The Heat made only 17-of-25 free throws (68 percent)...Miami has dropped seven in a row to the Mavs, six of those in Dallas. That streak goes back to March 26, 2004, and does not include the 2006 NBA Finals, which the Heat won in six games.
01/05 01:28:49 ET